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Benefit Take-up

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the number of people who are (a) eligible to receive (i) Housing Benefit

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and (ii) Council Tax Benefit, in (A) Scotland and (B) each local authority area in Scotland and (b) actually claim the relevant benefit in each case. [148128]

Angela Eagle: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.

Number of households in receipt of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for each local authority area in Scotland

Housing benefit caseloadCouncil tax benefit caseload
Western Isles1,5103,230
Scottish Borders7,3808,610
Dumfries and Galloway10,77012,670
East Lothian6,5807,790
West Lothian13,64015,710
Argyll and Bute6,3208,230
East Dunbartonshire4,2906,330
West Dunbartonshire12,52014,520
South Lanarkshire28,34037,510
North Lanarkshire34,46043,050
East Ayrshire10,51012,360
North Ayrshire14,01016,310
East Renfrewshire3,5204,980
South Ayrshire8,50010,600
Perth and Kinross7,7208,960
Scottish Homes7,020n/a


1. The data refer to households, which may be a single person, a couple or a family.

2. The figures for the whole of Scotland have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

3. The figures for individual local authorities have been rounded to the nearest ten.

4. Caseload figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.

5. Housing Benefit figures exclude any Extended Payment cases.

6. Council Tax Benefit totals exclude Second Adult Rebate cases.

7. Scottish Homes do not administer Council Tax Benefit.


Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System Quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock-count taken in August 2000.

Departmental Policies

(Morecambe and Lunesdale)

Miss Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will set out, including statistical information, the effect of his Department's policies and actions on the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency since 2 May 1997. [149122]

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Mr. Rooker: The Department's policies and initiatives have made a significant contribution to our overall objectives of:

These goals are being pursued nationwide and our achievements are set out in our annual "Opportunity for all" reports. Our second report, "Opportunity for all--One year on: making a difference" (CM4865, September 2000) sets out what progress has been made in the past year, as well as highlighting what more needs to be done. Nationwide statistical information is necessarily more complete than constituency level data, but the following provides a comparative guide to the effect of the Department's policies and actions in Morecambe and Lunesdale since May 1997.

We are spending an additional £7 billion a year on support for families and children. This includes significant increases in child benefit, which will be worth £15.50 a week for the eldest child and £10.35 a week for other children from 9 April 2001: nationally about 7 million families receive child benefit, and in Morecambe and Lunesdale 10,850 families benefit.

We have launched the New Deals to help lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, the over 50s and partners of the unemployed to move from benefit into work. In the period since August 1998 the number of people claiming Jobseekers' Allowance nationally has reduced from 1,323,600 to 1,044,900; in Morecambe and Lunesdale the number has reduced from 2,300 to 1,900. The number of lone parents who claim Income Support has decreased over the same period from 955,000 to 909,200 nationally. In Morecambe and Lunesdale the number has increased from 1,400 to 1,500.

Next year we will be spending £4.5 billion a year extra in real terms on pensioners as a result of our policies. The Winter Fuel Payment has continued to tackle fuel poverty. Last winter, around 10 million pensioners, of whom 18,900 were in Morecambe and Lunesdale, benefited from the payment. We have now extended the scheme to include eligible people from age 60 so that even more older people will benefit. This winter, households that qualify will receive an increased payment of £200. The Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) targets the poorest 1.6 million pensioner families, 2,800 of whom live in Morecambe and Lunesdale. These pensioners will benefit from our alignment of all MIG rates from April 2001, giving single pensioners at least £92.15 each week--a real increase of £12.45 for the poorest pensioners.

Winter Fuel Payments

Dr. Jack Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claims had been made by people living in Copeland for the winter fuel allowance by 31 January; and how many people in Copeland are eligible to receive winter fuel allowance. [149175]

Mr. Rooker: Information regarding how many claims were made by 31 January is not available in constituency format and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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However, latest information shows that over 14,000 Winter Fuel Payments have been issued in the Copeland constituency for winter 2000-01.

Mr. Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what percentage of this season's Winter Fuel Payments were not issued by (a) Christmas 2000 and (b) February 2001. [149667]

Mr. Rooker: All automatic payments where entitlement was established were made before Christmas. Payments made in respect of successful claims determined by 9 November were also made before Christmas.

Benefit Applications (Medical Visits)

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many visits are made per day on average by visiting medical practitioners who assess benefit applications. [149744]

Mr. Bayley: On average, 767 visits have been made each day by visiting medical practitioners on behalf of Sema Medical Services between the period November 2000 to January 2001.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many claimants receive lifetime awards of Disability Living Allowance; and how many of them receive on-going assistance from Motability. [149836]

Mr. Bayley: Information linking provision of Motability assistance with a life (or, since January 2000, an "indefinite") award of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), as opposed to a fixed period award of appropriate length, is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Minimum Income Guarantee (Leicestershire)

Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people from Leicestershire have contacted the Minimum Income Guarantee helpline since the new advertising campaign began; and how many people are in receipt of the Minimum Income Guarantee for the first time as a result of returning a completed application form. [149995]

Mr. Rooker: The information requested regarding the number of people from Leicestershire who have contacted the MIG claimline is not available.

By the end of January, the take-up campaign had resulted in around 82,000 successful claims in total.


Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of (a) 30 October 2000, (b) 22 November 2000, (c) 10 January and (d) 8 February relating to her constituent, Mrs. Sue Brown of Broxbourne. [150336]

Mr. Bayley: A reply to the hon. Member's letter of 30 October 2000 was sent on 6 December 2000. A reply to the hon. Member's letters of 22 November 2000, 10 January and 8 February 2001 was sent on Monday 12 February.

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Child Support Agency

Mr. Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many CSA compensation claims have been made; how many and what percentage of these claims were instigated by (a) the CSA on behalf of their clients and (b) the clients directly; and what was the average amount of compensation paid in the cases brought by (i) the CSA on behalf of their client and (ii) the clients directly. [149792]

Angela Eagle: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Mr. Doug Smith to Mr. Chris Ruane, dated February 2001:

Table 1: Compensation payments made from 1995-96 to 1999-2000

YearNumber Value

Table 2: Breakdown of compensation payments 1999-2000

Financial Loss2,119

Table 3: Deferred debt payments 1999-2000

Payment type£000
Deferred debt2,024

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